24.11.2010 Finanzierung des Low-Budget-Films über fast abgeschlossen

München – Ein Western über den Dächern Hongkongs: Dieses ambitionierte Projekt hat sich Marco Sparmberg, ein Trans-Media Filmemacher, zum Ziel gesetzt. ” Squattertown wird ein Mix aus Genre- und Bildsprache werden. Gedreht an atemberaubenden Orte, die man so noch nie aus Hongkong gesehen hat und auch kaum noch sehen wird. Die meisten unserer Drehorte werden bereits im kommenden Jahr nicht mehr existieren”, sagt so Marco Sparmberg. Deshalb drängt die Zeit. Das hat Marco Sparmberg dazu bewogen, mit Hilfe von Crowdsponsoring ( sein Vorhaben finanzieren zu lassen.

“Ich sehe mich täglich mit dem Problem der Filmfinanzierung konfrontiert und hatte bereits mit allen traditionellen Finanzierungsmodellen zu tun. Heutzutage, wo Geldmittel rar geworden sind und Investoren extrem vorsichtig, greifen gerade diese Modelle kaum noch bei Independentfilmen mit Low- oder gar No-Budget”, erklärt Sparmberg. Auch deshalb hat er sich entschieden, Crowdsponsoring für die Finanzierung seines Projektes zu nutzen. Somit betritt er nicht nur mit seinen Projekten, sondern auch bei der Finanzierung Neuland.”Von all den Finanzierungsmöglichkeiten die es für Filme gibt, hat mich bisher Crowdsponsoring am meisten beeindruckt, da es den Unterstützern die Chance gibt, aktiv und von Beginn an bei einem Filmprojekt teilzunehmen.” sagt Marco Sparmberg weiter. In der Tat ist die finanzielle Unterstützung eines Projektes nur die halbe Wahrheit über Crowdsponsoring. 

Mit mySherpas bieten sechs Münchener nun allen Freunden der Independent-Filme die Möglichkeit, Projekte zu unterstützen, um im Gegenzug ideelle Prämien zu erhalten. Auf der Plattform sollen Menschen mit kreativen, innovativen oder sozialen Ideen andere so stark von ihrem Projekt überzeugen, dass diese zu Sherpas werden, also Geld und Mut spenden und so helfen, die Ideen zu verwirklichen.

Das Projekt Squattertown hat bereits über die Hälfte des benötigten Budgets über Crowdsponsoring erreicht. Nun gilt es in den letzten Tagen noch mal kräftig für das Projekt zu werben, denn nur dann heißt es: “Shoot some Dim Sum”.


Über mySherpas ist eine Crowdsponsoring Plattform, die anderen bei der Verwirklichung eines Traumes oder einer Idee helfen will. Wer eine Idee hat, stellt diese per Video, Fotos, Text oder Audio auf der Plattform vor. Dann legt er ein Budget fest, das zur Realisierung notwendig ist. Zudem denkt sich der Projektinhaber Prämien aus, mit denen er sich bei seinen Sherpas bedankt. Anschließend rührt er die Werbetrommel, um möglichst viele Sponsoren für sich zu gewinnen. Jedes Projekt bleibt maximal 50 Tage online. Nach dem Alles-oder-nichts-Prinzip muss der Projektinhaber in dieser Zeit sein Budgetziel erreichen. Schafft er dies, bekommt er die gesponserte Summe abzüglich einer Handling Fee von zehn Prozent von ausgezahlt. Für die Realisierung seiner Idee ist er dann allein zuständig. Denn da es nicht um Investment, sondern um Unterstützung geht, behält der Projektinhaber die 100-prozentige Kontrolle. Allerdings darf er das Sponsoring-Geld nicht zweckentfremden. Wird ein Budget-Ziel nicht ereicht, bekommt jeder Sherpa sein gesponsertes Geld zurück.

Hong Kong 10.10.10 – The production crew of Hong Kong’s first Dim Sum Western web series started its elevated location scouting on the rooftops of Hong Kong for the highly anticipates shootout of SQUATTERTOWN.

Headed by trans-media filmmaker Marco Sparmberg and Digital Media Expert Juergen Hoehbarth SQUATTERTOWN is about to be a wild mixture of film genres, art forms and new media technology. Run as multimedia project with an open source character, SQUATTERTOWN is a sole crowdsourced and crowdfunded project which engages its audience and contributors right from the start. Since August the project is worldwide looking for funding on various internet based collaborative fundraising platforms like Indiegogo.

Within the past years of their professional work in Hong Kong, Marco Sparmberg and Juergen Hoebarth set up a very own concept of local crowdsourced independent film production and a so-called “reverse distribution model”. Touring and promoting their vision throughout the city as well as international new media arts festivals like this year’s Ars Electronica, both were able to raise extreme awareness of their recent project SQUATTERTOWN.

Currently the projects core crew is assembled with independent filmmakers and experts in film related fields from all around the globe, ranging from China, the US, Germany, Austria and Portugal. This diversity is even stronger within SQUATTERTOWN’s daily increasing follower base throughout all the projects internet channels.

The web series is designed as 5 episode release, during its first season, for mobile devices and internet platforms. Not only the way how SQUATTERTOWN approaches its audience is unique, but also the dramatic genre via a gripping apocalyptic story will be told. Merely conceived as so-called Dim Sum Westerns, basically a mixture of the visual aesthetics from Spaghetti Westerns and Hong Kong films during the 1980s, the series will draw a gritty fictional picture of a desperate future society.

Set within the unique rooftop squatter housing structures of Hong Kong, SQAUTTERTOWN will also tackle a severe local social issue: the gradual disappearance of a very own culture, hidden in the dark for decades. Due to Hong Kong’s rapid urban renewal process the series’ director Marco Sparmberg admits, “This phenomenon has to be dealt with by the most modern mass media tools available otherwise it will vanish even before we can communicate and translate it to a broad global audience.”

Hence, the project turned out to be a race against time as some locations are soon about to be demolished, others already no longer accessible. The team around Marco Sparmberg and Juergen Hoebarth are scouting for suitable locations till mid of November 2010, principal photography is scheduled for first week of December. Till the cameras roll SQUATTERTOWN’s fundraising campaigns on are still running. “We welcome every single piece of support. Even just telling a friend or writing a tweet is already bringing the project one step further!” says Juergen Hoebarth.

For more information and details on the project, tune in and subscribe to one of the projects various internet channels like Twitter or Facebook. And to take direct action in helping this ambitious and talented crew SHOOTING SOME DIM SUM contact


Press Kit:

Full Press Release as DOC file:



1st still from our new Dim Sum Western fund raising trailer w/conceptual color grading. The campaign for SQUATTERTOWN will start by the end of next week. Details follow soon. Stay tuned.

As SQUATTERTOWN enters slowly the pre-production phase here a small example from where the film is being inspired: The Kowloon Walled City

[click to enlarge]

UPDATE 21.07.2010: The fund raising trailer shoot has been lined up. We are going to shoot in beginning of next week in HK. Daily updates on the production will be tweeted on @MarcoSparmberg . First location photos are already online on Flickr. Stay tuned!


This weekend I just stumbled upon this small fine piece of a early DimSum Western from the 1980s , hiding deep in my DVD rack. When I bought the DVD some 5 years ago I did not realize its importance but now I consider it as one of the few existing HK film Western attempts that bears an own unique local signature while riding on traditional Western elements.

MILLIONAIRES EXPRESS (HK) aka SHANGHAI EXPRESS (US) aka SHANGHAI POLICE (Gemany) incorporates a tremendous star power for its time. It almost appears like the entire who-is-who of local filmmaking is united in this production and everyone seemed to had huge fun while shooting. The good chemistry between its actors translates upon the screen and creates a huge fun ride through a wild compilation of genres. The extremely fast paced plot combines 3 storylines that eventually merge in the final showdown.

Now the story does not really matter in this action and slapstick packed wannabe-Western and is simply exploited as an excuse to run fast to the next scene for another absurd situation which the infantile character tabloid has to master. The entire film is an enormous mix out of everything available. It starts off as a Snow Western deep in the mountains and ends in a desert like scenario with the traditional shanty town. Every single detail appears to have undergone a fusion of East and West. We can spot traditional Western elements like the saloon, the gambling tables, Americans in Civil War time’s uniforms. But wait a minute! What do US soldiers do in a scenario set in China?   What are Russian Red Army soldiers doing in the snowy mountains of Canada? And what are Japanese Samurai doing in the shanty town that clearly looks like being located within the HK territory?

Sammo Hung throws everything into one big pot, stirs it heavy and cooks a hyper inter-cultural dish. One can clearly spot glimpses of US Westerns as mentioned above, However, the element of Samurais being in China´s Wild West could be read as a political statement but I rather think a deliberate reminiscence on Terence Young´s RED SUN is a safer bet. The more the film takes on speed the more Hung orientates it towards the classic adventure genre. Films like INDIANA JONES were definitely its blueprint, also considering the coarse espionage and intelligence approach of the story.

However, since this film was produced during a time where the ‘97-Syndrom already seized the artistic minds of HK filmmakers, this film definitely reflects the sentiments of its time. The exploitive use of action and nonsense comedy (some Moleitau) clearly reflects the confusion and situation of a HK society in the mid 80s while facing an unpredictable future full of radical changes. The most direct evidence of this inner social conflict can be found on one of the prisoners´ clothing’s, bearing the number “1997”.

With all this confusion among the characters, story, locations and props the visual style is kept straight forward as usual for this decades films. Hung rather focuses on physical action extravaganza like Kung Fu fights, stunts, slapstick that is shot very traditional, most in wide shots with large number group compositions. He needs to convey and communicate this special and only advantage of his film: reality in stunts and action. When people jump off a three storey building you will see it in one wide angle take, no cuts! Yuen Biao jumps off a roof set on fire, hits the ground, jumps up and runs along as it is the easiest thing in the world (watch out for this scene in the trailer below). This is basically the essence of action cinema made in HK during the early 80s. It´s real and everyone can see it. Hence, this does explain the relative low amount of violence as guns are barely in use here. But it also holds the reason for almost no use of sophisticated camera movements or even special designed compositions or camera tracks that would serve a storytelling purpose.

Finally, Hung grounds his film another time, in the end credits sequence while showing off making of shots revealing how the crew created the film. Now this is similar practice to Jackie Chan and is supposed to give the film a link into reality by, again, highlighting the fact that things are being hand-made without any tricks or special effects. It takes away the illusion, deliberately, displaying that it all is not just magic. It is hard work and needs a lot of crafts to pull off.

I started to develop my upcoming 2nd DimSum short Western. The basic idea of an urban Western is set. Now I am scouting for locations all over Hong Kong (To Kwa Wan, Kwun Tong, Sham Shui Po).  My focus is on old squatter housing structures on top of tall buildings.

First production design drawings will be available soon.

Shooting is scheduled for November 2010 and release in January 2011.